A message from Alison Colwell, Principal
Our focus in the newsletter this week and next is on the more creative subjects in the curriculum. We feel very strongly that developing children’s creative skills is of great importance. Subjects such as dance, drama, art, music and sport require many different strengths and attributes, and also of course help students to acquire important personal skills and qualities including working together, speaking in public and persevering with things that may not come naturally.
I believe that one of the most important values, qualities, skills, strengths - call it what you will - is confidence. Acquiring confidence, such that you believe in yourself, you’ll attempt something even if you feel apprehensive, you’ll try new things and you’ll stand up for yourself and what you believe in - these to my mind are very important and desirable states. Of course, to be over confident is as undesirable as to lack confidence: nobody warms to the arrogant or the entitled. But in school I still see far too many children and young people who lack confidence and it is something we all strive to address.
When I was studying for my A’levels my school wanted me to apply for Oxbridge. Oxford or Cambridge University are, of course, two of the best and most prestigious in the world. I would have loved to apply - but I did not believe in myself, did not believe I’d get the high grades required and did not have confidence in myself, even though I was a high performing student. So I didn’t apply - and then I got straight A grades in all my A’levels. This has stayed with me throughout my life - not so much regret I didn’t go to those universities but that a lack of confidence prevented me from trying.
Through presenting in class (and assemblies when we can), participating in debates, joining in House competitions and events, getting involved in the forthcoming pantomime, applying for student leadership roles - these are all ways in which we try to help our young people to grow in confidence, as well, of course, as through recognising and rewarding excellent work and conduct. Our students have so many gifts and so much potential, and we are all committed to building that belief in themselves.
Principal, BIC Sa Porrassa
Mrs Alexandra Tomlinson - Head of Secondary
It was with sadness that I read of the death of Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks over the weekend. I first heard him speak at a teaching conference in the Central Methodist Hall in London, and to my mind the following quote of his is a perfect tribute to him as we reflect on the crucial value of the Arts in education, in our newsletter this week. “Education means teaching a child to be curious, to wonder, to reflect, to enquire. The child who asks becomes a partner in the learning process, an active recipient. To ask is to grow.”
How else better to achieve this than through the Arts? I have seen some wonderful lessons this week across the secondary curriculum where the Arts have been used as the vehicle through which students have accessed their learning. From rehearsing successful historical royal public addresses in history, to creating and illustrating party political manifestos in English, to storyboarding a comic book strip to reflect on a science experiment! So too, the beautiful and moving recitation of ´For the Fallen´ by Olivia and Nico in Year 13 for our Remembrance Day Service. All have seen students given the freedom to express their independent and original ideas and liberate their critical perspectives.
All too often schools are the only places where young people have access to the Arts - even more so in these difficult times. Which is why we are determined to ensure that there is something on offer in the Arts for every student to enjoy. The excitement around the rehearsals beginning for our January Pantomime Production, our end of term Carol Services, Arts competitions such as the House photography competition and the Inter-House talent show is testament to BIC´s commitment to creative expression and thought.
Secondary Congratulations - Celebrating Student’s Achievement
Nils in Year 7 for a fantastic piece of work in art. Palak in Year 11 for her drama devising piece for her coursework. Ismene in Year 8 for excellent, deep thinking in her English Language analysis. Alfie in Year 11 for excellent progress in Maths. Evan in Year 10 for an outstanding level of work in PE GCSE.
Mr John Barter - Head of Sixth Form
One of the topics that comes up for me as a psychology and sociology teacher is the value of uniform expectations of behaviour from people in society. When we are able to predict what others will do, because they behave as the rest of us do, life is much less stressful and society is more harmonious. History shows us that there have been periods when people have submitted to the values of their society in order to meet a higher ambition; the blitz spirit of World War Two was one of those times. I know the lockdown for some was another; we resigned ourselves to do what was required and enjoyed coming together to clap at 8pm. But my view is that such uniformity in behaviour is rare and it usually comes at a major cost to our personal freedoms.
I don’t think we need to be psychologists and sociologists to see that, uniformity being valuable or not, young people need the opportunity for self-expression. All of our lovely sixth formers have their own personal ways of expressing themselves. Jessie shows us that it may come through art; Olivia through dance; Nacho through the rugby field. It may come by being able to choose what to wear to school; sometimes mistakes are made, but the students learn the value of compromising to meet the needs of their society, whilst finding a way to appropriately present themselves to other people.
The current climate pains all of us at school, seeing our students limited in their options for personal expression, especially in their outside school interests, when this is the time for experimenting and developing their own sense of self. This week’s news of vaccines has been comforting and reminds us that there will be an end and that life can go back to a closer to ‘normal’ format. In the meantime, if you have concerns about how your child is coping with ‘the new normal’ of the present, please do contact me with regards to Sixth Formers. No-one is an expert at this time, but together we can find solutions.
Mr John Barter
Head of Sixth Form
We would like to take this opportunity to say a BIG thank you to Jess and Santos for the wonderful video they prepared for our prospective families. Check it out for yourselves!
Art and Design news - An insight into our Art and Design subject
The new creative carousel system has allowed pupils in KS3 (Years 7-9) to unlock many skills they may or may not have been able to harness up until now. Much evidence of pupils´ development in key skills in drawing and painting can be seen throughout their sketchbooks. Once a week their books are reviewed and verbal/written feedback is provided.
Once pupils have left KS3 they need to decide whether they want to pursue Art and Design and opt for the GCSE or not. Before they decide I try to remind them that it is a big commitment but one they would not regret, especially if they were considering a creative career path. Such careers may include Graphic Design, Architecture, Fashion, Photography, Illustration, Animation, Product Design, Interior Design, Printmaking, Special effects, Production design, Jewellery design….the list goes on!
In KS4 pupils at BIC have made some important decisions and have committed themselves to their chosen specialist subjects. In Art and Design they are aware this subject requires time, dedication and passion. Pupils are expected to experiment with materials, techniques and processes with an open mind throughout Year 10 with the opportunity to focus their skills in a particular area of strength in Year 11.
If pupils then go on to do A´level Art and Design they will have complete ownership over their work and can really follow through concepts, issues, interests and ideas that are relevant and important to them. They are more than committed and understand that many hours outside of the classroom are needed in order for them to develop and complete their work. They are also expected to explore a wide range of artists, crafts people and designers. Virtual tours of art galleries and museums are of course the main vehicle for making this possible during the current pandemic, however we would normally organise trips and visits etc.
Please find below some useful links.
We are constantly encouraging pupils across all of the key stages to be creative thinkers and nurture their imaginations. Even with the new restrictions I want pupils to see their creativity has no limits and they can reach their full potential by being persistent, independent and passionate.
Why do art?
Art is useful! Art gives you invaluable problem solving skills that can be transferred to other subject areas. Pupils who are creative in their thinking are able to approach a task in a multitude of ways, experimenting and exploring until they reach an informed decision. Art teaches you to think with an open mind, find alternatives and tackle any situation with real creativity.
Art is everywhere! Art is all around us. From the clothes we wear, the built environment we live in to the mobile phone we use or computer games we play. They've all been designed by someone with a creative mind. Studying art gives us the insight into how an idea can develop and grow into something tangible, real and truly remarkable.
What have pupils been doing?
Year 12 student Jessica (Work in Progress)
Year 12 student Jessica - Artist Study
Year 12 student Mathias - Artist Study
Science Week at Baleares International College
Science with Mr Clark
This year for World Science Day, students were asked to identify one way in which science has positively contributed to society in 2020, in keeping with the theme for World Science day run by UNESCO each year. There were some excellent entries and the winner and runners up will be announced next week. The competition provided an opportunity to identify the importance and variety of science in our daily lives.
Following along the same theme, as part of World Science Day, students had the opportunity to carry out experiments themselves, related to their current topic of study, and were invited to attend ´Flash Bang´, a series of exciting science demonstrations during lunchtime, which also afforded the opportunity to learn about the application of these in the things that we take for granted, such as the jet engine.
Science with Mr Wolfenden
Each year, World Science Day encourages students to consider how science can support peace and development in our ever-changing world. As human development affects more and more ecosystems, never before has it been so important to make peace with our planet.
With global scientists currently working on the pandemic, it is important that we do not lose sight of the very real challenges facing the inhabitants of planet Earth. Other than wanting the students to have fun and learn, the events this week allowed us to build up a very clear picture of some specific skill areas in science horizontally, across year groups and vertically, from KS2 to 3.
By investigating current issues in science, we hope that the students will develop a deeper understanding of the issues facing the Earth and the organisms that we are privileged enough to share it with. With specific focus on the polar regions, some students were able to investigate the impact of global particulates on the ice caps of the North Pole before developing their literacy skills through writing PEEL paragraphs. The following photograph of an icesheet in the Llulissat region of Greenland was taken in 2016 by Daniel Beltra. The dark patches show cryoconite which is formed by a mixture of dust, soot and ash particulates. In the attached photos, you will see how our students investigated polluted and unpolluted ice samples.
Additionally, older students in KS3 were able to investigate the life cycles of the emperor penguins of Antarctica. Using Google Sheets, the students were able to collect data that affirmed why it is essential that penguins are able to huddle; huddle on the very ice sheets that are threatened by the activities of humans. Should you wish to read more about both of these global concerns, feel free to access further information here and here. Please enjoy a selection of photos from our classes this week.
Next week, we will be running a science session on Zoom for students (and parents) in Years 6 to 9. This will be an opportunity to enjoy learning with your child about a popular science topic. Spaces are limited, please express your interest here and then Mr Wolfenden will contact you with further details. If it is not possible for you to join us this time, there will be other opportunities in the future.
Science with Miss Turley
A key priority is to work as closely as possible with our primary colleagues and to get to know the primary students as much as possible.
Our secondary and Sixth Form students together with our science teacher Miss Turley have prepared a wonderful video to tell our younger students in primary all about why science is so amazing! The goal of this project is to help our youngest appreciate the importance of science as well as make them excited about what to expect when they move to secondary school! Watch out for the fantastic practical demonstrations!
Miss Turley’s Year 9 class have been getting creative this week with a STEM challenge. STEM is a curriculum based on the idea of educating students in four specific disciplines; science, technology, engineering and mathematics, in an interdisciplinary and applied approach. Their challenge was to design and build a functioning vehicle using limited supplies. There were some excellent designs and it was great to see the class come up with so many different ways of powering the vehicle e.g. balloons, elastic and motors attached to propellers. Hopefully the students have been inspired to think about careers that include these four disciplines.
Science with Mr Warn
Whole School House System news
House Points Totals Update
Pumpkin carving results
Thank you to everyone who voted for your favourite pumpkin on our Facebook page.
Each receives 10 house points for their house. Well done everyone who entered.
The winners are:
A date for your diary! We would love to see as many people as possible come to help with the Palmanova beach clean on Sunday 22nd November. We will award 5 points to those that do take part. The week commencing 23rd November is recycling week at BIC so this is an excellent way to kick things off.
Sixth form Balloon Debate
Our Year 12 students competed in a Balloon Debate this week. Each student chose a famous person from history and they had to imagine that they were all in a hot air balloon that was going to crash unless someone jumped out to save the rest. They had to argue that their famous person should be saved.
After a vote, there were three finalists and one overall winner chosen. Each finalist was awarded 5 House points and the winner got 10!
Well done to all the students who took part.
The winners are as follows:
5 points to:
Mathias Year 12 - Dominic Bareford, champion hot air balloon flyer
Kourosh Year 12 - Arnold Schwarzenegger, movie star and Governor of California
10 points to the overall winner:
Paula Year 12 - Emily Davison, famous suffragette
Next week is friendship week. Secondary students will be working through different activities on the definition of friendship and bullying. We will explain and discuss what to do and who to speak to if they are being bullied or if they know that someone has been or is being bullied. Our life is surrounded by social media and this is a new source of stress and sometimes bullying for young people. We will cover cyberbullying and how we can defend against it. We will also discuss the impact of bullying on the victims.
Thursday we will celebrate with odd socks day. Each pupil is expected to come to school wearing odd socks. The odd socks day is celebrated during this week everywhere in the UK and it is a way to show that we stand against bullying and that everyone is different.
BIC CONNECT - PARENT WORKSHOPS
- Early Years and Key Stage 1 (Year 1 and Year 2) - How to support your child's learning - 26th November 5.30PM
The aim of this parent webinar is to give you useful advice about how you can support your child's progress and learning at home.
We hope you can join us to further explore the strategies and methods used in school to allow the students to develop their learning skills. During this session, we will also have time to answer any other questions you may have.
This session is suitable for the parents of students in Early Years and Key Stage 1 (Children aged 3 to 7) and we warmly welcome all parents.
- EAL - English as an additional Language at Baleares International College - 3rd December 5.30pm
The aim of this parent webinar is to tell you all about our English as an Additional Language (EAL) programme at Baleares International College, and give parents some useful advice about how you can support your child at home.
We hope you can join us to further explore the strategies and methods used in school to allow the students to develop their initial English skills. During this session, we will also have time to answer any other questions you may have.
This session is suitable for the parents of students across all Year groups, who have EAL needs or are new to Baleares International College.
BIC CONNECT - PARENT WORKSHOPS - English as an additional Language at Baleares International College.
Our next Open Days will be held in November and December across both BIC schools, Sant Agustí and Sa Porrassa.
Dates and registrations:
To register for our Virtual Open Days please click on the following link:
- BIC Sa Porrassa - a whole through from school ages 3 to 15 accommodated in a large, custom-built school situated in the beautiful, rural environment of Calvià.
- Thursday 10th December 2020 - To register by clicking here
- BIC Sant Agustí - an Early Years and Primary specialised School located in the wonderful neighbourhood of Sant Agustí, Palma
This is an ideal opportunity for you and your child to gain an insight into student life here at BIC.
Following the opportunities to tour our facilities, BIC Sa Porrassa and BIC Sant Agustí will be holding a Virtual Open Day to offer families the opportunity to get a better idea of our schools. A Virtual Open Day is a great opportunity for you to learn about our School and enter in a live Q and A session with our Principal and Leadership Team.
In order to organise a tour at either or both schools, please contact us directly:
- San Agustí - firstname.lastname@example.org | (+34) 971 403 161
- Sa Porrassa - email@example.com | (+34) 971 133 167
We look forward welcoming you to Baleares International College
Cineciutat Movie Morning
We are delighted to share with you further information about our collaboration with Cineciutat Nins, located in the heart of Palma. - https://www.cineciutat.org/en
"We are a cinema and sometimes a theatre. We are a school and we are memories. We are ideas and innovation. We are culture. we are non-profit and self-managed by its members".
Cineciutat will be hosting the first Movie Morning if the academic year for all of our parents and children this Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th November at 11:00am. The screening for this Saturday will be: "The Secret of Kells".
We kindly invite you to join us for this fantastic concept and to share with your family and friends.
You will be able to purchase TICKETS HERE
We look forward to seeing you all there.